Although San Francisco has received much of the attention regarding its increased coyote activity during the Covid-19 quarantine, Sacramento has quietly seen an uptick as well. In fact, one coyote family has been living in the bustling downtown area for six months, now claiming home as the Capitol Park adjacent to the California State Capitol.
In May, photos and videos began to surface online of the coyote family living in the bustling Midtown neighborhood. Residents were shocked and sometimes nervous as coyote sightings had increased during California’s shelter-in-place mandate. One particular family had taken residence on the corner of 23rd and Capitol Avenue.
More of that coyote in Midtown Sacramento. pic.twitter.com/VrUW4gszlA— Doug Johnson (@DougJohnsonFX40) May 23, 2020
With animal control officials setting up deterrents all summer to get the coyotes out of the neighborhood and into a region more suitable for wildlife, the family simply moved to the park down the street.
The coyote family, which now includes a new adult male, has claimed its residence down the street at Capitol Park, the biggest green space relative to downtown Sacramento. While some may be alarmed at the sight of coyotes in the city, animal control said these are urban coyotes and actually in their natural habitat.
“They want to be on their own, eating their food, doing their coyote thing. Just scream, yell, be loud and they will move on,” said Jace Huggins, Chief Animal Control Officer to CBS13.
The problem that arose is that animal control believes people are intentionally feeding the coyote family, deterring them from naturally moving to a more suitable area with less traffic. It’s illegal to move a coyote without state approval.
“What we have to understand is if we as a community do not want coyotes in our neighborhoods, we have to understand that we are contributing to the factors that attract them to our neighborhoods in the first place,” said Guy Galante, Wildlife Educator at Project Coyote.
SOUND ON: Viewer Leslie Hurlburt sent in this video of coyotes howling outside the state Capitol as fire trucks whizzed down N Street on Tuesday. pic.twitter.com/QEvbsFoZkl— kcranews (@kcranews) September 16, 2020
One person walking their small dog on Capitol grounds said the coyotes became aggressive and a lawn maintenance worker had to step in to scare them off. While coyotes are rarely aggressive towards humans, small dogs and cats can be at risk. Residents in the area are being urged to keep their animals inside to avoid a confrontation.
People interested in learning more about Sacramento’s urban coyotes can get in touch with City Animal Control or visit Project Coyote.